- Directed by Tarsem Singh
- November 11, 2011
A son of the Greek god Zeus must lead the fight against a ruthless king who is seeking a weapon that will unleash great destruction.
Immortals is an action film based off Greek myth and done in the style of 300. While it uses elements of the Greek myths of Theseus, the return of the Heraclids, the Minotaur, and the Titanomachy, the film itself is not based on any actual Greek myth. It is a mostly original narrative creation.
Our hero Theseus is played by Henry Cavill. If you must cast a muscular Greek hero he is not a bad choice. He does well as the idealistic and strong-willed outsider who is the son of Zeus (Luke Evans as Zeus normally / John Hurt as Old Man who he uses to interact with mortals) though Theseus doesn’t know it. His mother is labeled a whore and thus they are both outcasts despite her devotion to the gods and his skill with a weapon.
Our villain King Hyperion is played by Mickey Rourke with so much evil and darkness that you’re cheering for him to win at points. Seriously. Think of all the really good movie villains. No matter how bad they are you cheer at their evil and at points can see their side. That is what we get here.
And he is just evil. He kills coldly and without remorse. He even goes so far as to take a mallet to a guy’s crotch so he never has children. And this guy came to join him! Mickey Rourke makes Hyperion a great and unfathomable evil villain yet a villain whose motivations you can understand.
Hyperion is driven by the gods not hearing his pleas when his wife and child were dying from some undefined disease or something. They are a little vague on that. Now he seeks to destroy all the gods by unleashing a group of Titans from a cage beneath Mount Tartarus. Killing supreme beings for revenge is some next level revenge crap.
While this film is stylized like 300 it has a visual aesthetic that makes it look a bit like Lord of the Rings. This does not look like Greece or anywhere in the Mediterranean or that those behind this film are even pretending such. It looks as if the characters are traversing through the rougher parts of Middle Earth or even Mordor itself. The landscape is desolate and sparse with little to indicate life or civilization beyond those in the shot.
The action is okay but the visuals are absolutely stunning. Immortals is heavy on CGI and it’s used with great effect. It manages to give it style rather than the film coming off in a generic fashion. That and the drum driven music elevate the narrative.
One thing that I noticed-and I’ve seen this film a few times before writing this-is that the casting here is very diverse. It’s across the spectrum yet the way the story is presented you never really notice it. They don’t hang a lantern on it in any way. It just is. I appreciate that.
I also appreciate that the costuming isn’t bland. It’s not generic Greek and it’s not generic fantasy. I’m not sure if it’s authentic but it looks like it could be part of a real world somewhere. While I adore Clash of the Titans, the costuming is fairly generic there. The same goes for many other fantasy films. Not enough are willing to create a clothing look for the people that you could believe is actual clothing that they would wear. They play it too safe as they are usually trying ride on the success of a bigger film.
Immortals never quite reaches the level I think it could have achieved in its narrative. I think rather they were expecting another film and that’s a mistake when telling a . You may want a film trilogy or just a whole film series but creators should treat each installment in any series as the only film and that none will come after it. Give one complete story and put every ounce of energy you can into it. Should you have a sequel build on whatever happened in the previous film or films but make sure that’s contained self-contained as well. Don’t save for the next.
Immortals is an entertaining fantasy film. Not the greatest out there but it’s certainly an entertaining movie. If you come across this check it out but I wouldn’t seek it out. You will want more that unfortunately never came.